Oakland Athletics – MLB Trade Rumors 2018-09-22T23:02:11Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Jeff Todd <![CDATA[AL West Notes: Manaea, Keuchel, Felix]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=133147 2018-09-20T19:32:28Z 2018-09-20T19:32:28Z There’s a bit of surprisingly good news for an Athletics team that has weathered a withering run of injuries to young pitchers. As MLB.com’s Jane Lee was among those to report (Twitter links), the Oakland organization says it was actually rather encouraged by the outcome of Sean Manaea’s shoulder procedure yesterday. Though the team likely won’t be able to rely on him as a contributor in 2019, it seems there’s some hope that Manaea could be ready to return late in the season. And the long-term outlook is generally good, which is particularly promising for a hurler who is only just reaching arbitration eligibility.

More from some other prominent AL West hurlers …

  • Astros southpaw Dallas Keuchel is headed for free agency in less than two months, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to think about it. As Mark Berman of FOX 26 was among those to convey (video link on Twitter), the lefty says he isn’t interested in pondering his future, preferring instead to “enjoy this team and this year.” That’s surely a sensible position to take for a variety of reasons. The 30-year-old and his teammates are, after all, trying to ramp up for a second consecutive World Series run. And he can best increase his market options and earning power by continuing to throw the ball well. Through 196 2/3 solid frames this year, Keuchel carries a 3.71 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 along with a 53.3% groundball rate. That last figure, while still strong, is well under Keuchel’s established levels, though he is compensating in some regards by holding opposing hitters to less home runs (11.2% HR/FB, 0.78 HR/9) than he has typically.
  • The Mariners shouldn’t worry about the $27MM they owe Felix Hernandez in deciding his future with the club, veteran journalist Bob Dutton writes on the KLAY 1180 blog. Simply put, that’s a sunk cost. And Dutton says the M’s ought to ignore it — at least, perhaps, unless they are able to arrange some kind of trade scenario utilizing the contract. That’s not to say that the end ought to come before the start of the 2019 season, but Dutton argues it’s not a possibility the organization should shy from considering.
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Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Sean Manaea Undergoes Shoulder Surgery, Likely To Miss 2019 Season]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=132661 2018-09-20T03:56:29Z 2018-09-20T03:55:18Z Sept. 19: Oakland announced that Manaea underwent a subacromial decompression, acromioplasty and posterior labral repair today. There’s no indication that his timetable is any more favorable than it was when Melvin announced the surgery last week.

Sept. 11, 4:22pm: The news on Manaea’s timeline is brutal, as manager Bob Melvin now tells reporters that the expectation is that Manaea will miss an entire year (Twitter links via Jane Lee of MLB.com and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle). The team will know more after the surgery, but that early estimate is a crushing reality for the upstart A’s, who may now be without their most talented starter for the entirety of the 2019 season.

2:17pm: The Athletics announced today that lefty Sean Manaea will undergo surgery on his pitching shoulder. He had been on the disabled list since late August with what was then labeled as an impingement.

Certainly, the procedure will be expected to keep Manaea sidelined for the remainder of the 2018 season. Beyond that, though, it’s not clear what to expect. The organization says that it “will provide further details after the surgery.”

While it had become increasingly clear of late that Manaea would not make it back late this year, this is still a particularly disappointing way to wrap things up. We’ll need to wait to learn more about the prognosis, but shoulder surgeries are always of particular concern for pitchers.

Manaea had turned in 161 2/3 innings of 3.59 ERA pitching this year, helping spur a remarkable run for the Oakland ballclub. To be sure, his peripherals weren’t quite as exciting. With 6.0 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, and a 44.0% groundball rate, ERA estimators viewed him more as a quality rotation piece than a front-end starter (4.26 FIP, 4.33 xFIP, 4.46 SIERA).

Despite the questions, the 26-year-old is an indisputably talented and valuable pitcher. He’s slated to qualify for arbitration this coming offseason as a Super Two player, so missing some time late in the year will put a bit of a dent in his earnings. Still, with 464 MLB frames of sub-4.00 ERA pitching already under his belt, Manaea ought to earn well through the arb process.

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Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Tigers, Athletics Complete Mike Fiers Trade]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=133078 2018-09-20T02:20:51Z 2018-09-19T19:43:52Z The Tigers and Athletics have announced the completion of the mid-season trade that sent starter Mike Fiers to Oakland. Righty Logan Shore will head to the Tigers in the deal, making him the second player to be named later.

About one month back, the sides announced the first PTBNL: young righty Nolan Blackwood. In the meantime, Fiers has continued mostly to pile up good innings for the A’s.

Shore, a 2016 second-rounder, is a rather notable prospect to be on the move. The 23-year-old turned in four strong outings at the High-A level before bumping up to Double-A. He has struggled to a 5.50 ERA there in 13 starts, but still seems to be a quality asset to add to the Detroit system. He’s just over two years removed from being selected in the second round of the 2016 draft and, in 2017, turned in a 3.68 ERA with an exceptional 87-to-16 K/BB ratio in 80 2/3 innings of work.

At last look, Shore sat in the No. 14 spot on the MLB.com ranking of the A’s farm. He’s known more for “pitchability than stuff,” as that outlet puts it, so he’s valued more for his floor than his ceiling. Of course, even a perceived floor requires health, and that’s one area that has been a problem in Shore’s brief time as a professional; he was slowed by a lat issue earlier this season and had a pair of trips to the disabled list last year in an otherwise encouraging campaign.

As for Fiers, the 33-year-old has been quite a boon for an otherwise injury-ravaged Athletics pitching staff. He’s taken the mound eight times since donning the green and gold, pitching to a sterling 3.09 ERA with 44 punchouts against just 10 walks in 43 2/3 innings of work. He’s still been far too homer-prone in that time (10 homers allowed), but Fiers has generally been one of Oakland’s most effective starters since joining the team. Oakland can control him through the 2019 season via arbitration.

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Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Andrew Triggs To Undergo Surgery To Address Thoracic Outlet Syndrome]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=133013 2018-09-20T00:01:40Z 2018-09-18T18:58:01Z Athletics righty Andrew Triggs is slated to undergo surgery to address thoracic outlet syndrome, per a club announcement. According to the team, it plans to provide further details after the procedure is completed.

Needless to say, it’s disappointing news for both the 29-year-old hurler and the organization, which has seen numerous controllable hurlers go down to injury this season. Of course, that also hasn’t stopped the club from posting a stunningly successful campaign.

Entering the 2018 season, there was hope that Triggs would build off of a 2017 season in which he posted a 4.27 ERA in a dozen starts before undergoing season-ending hip surgery. Instead, he limped to a 5.23 ERA through nine outings before hitting the shelf.

There’s no sense in guessing at an outlook at this point. In comparison even to Tommy John surgery, recovery from which is not as linear or as certain as is sometimes presumed, surgical treatments for thoracic outlet syndrome have produced quite a range of timelines and outcomes. It’s certainly not promising for his long-term prospects in the big leagues, though plenty of pitchers have been able to make it back to the MLB mound after undergoing surgical treatment for the syndrome in recent years.

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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Athletics Move Triple-A Team To Las Vegas]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=132961 2018-09-17T18:46:28Z 2018-09-17T18:21:39Z The Athletics announced Monday that they’ve moved their Triple-A club from Nashville to Las Vegas, forging a partnership with the Vegas 51s for the first season of their newly constructed stadium. It’s a two-year deal partnership between the two sides, and while that’s a fairly short term, the two sides could easily extend that player development contract (PDC) for another two to four seasons after the 2020 campaign, as is frequently the case.

Las Vegas had previously been home to the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate, but the Mets purchased the Syracuse Chiefs last winter with the intention of moving their Triple-A club to a considerably more favorable location (geographically speaking).

Oakland was one of five organizations reported to be facing a potential relocation of its top affiliate, and the move to Vegas will now leave Nashville as one of four potential partner cities for the remaining clubs. Notably, the Nationals were reported to have interest in partnering with Nashville, now that their former Syracuse location is home to the Mets’ top affiliate.

For the A’s, they’ll step into a newly constructed facility in Summerlin — about 13 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. Richard Velotta and Betsy Helfand of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported last year that construction costs on Las Vegas Ballpark, the stadium’s formal name, would total $150MM.

“It is an incredibly exciting time to partner with the Las Vegas 51s,” said Athletics executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane in the press release accompanying the announcement. “Their ownership group is committed to providing a first-class environment for our players, which includes the grand opening of the Las Vegas Ballpark for the inaugural season of our affiliation. We’re looking forward to working closely with Don Logan and his staff as we both work towards putting a championship club on the field.”

“The new PDC will provide a tremendous environment for the players with the state-of-the-art amenities that will enhance player development with the indoor hitting cages, mounds and workout areas in the Las Vegas Ballpark,” 51s president and COO Don Logan said in a statement of his own. “…McCarran International Airport has non-stop flights to the numerous [Pacific Coast League] markets, as well as the big cities, that enables our team to have the best travel in the 16-team league. This will be a great situation for our fans to watch top prospects in the A’s system as well as players on Major League rehabilitation assignments showcase their talents in the Las Vegas Ballpark.”

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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Five Teams Set For Potential Triple-A Affiliate Changes]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=132950 2018-09-17T14:16:54Z 2018-09-17T14:16:13Z The majority of clubs throughout Major League Baseball have already announced that they’ve renewed their player development contracts with their Triple-A affiliates, but there are still five clubs that don’t have a clear plan in place just yet. Notably, the Astros and the Fresno Grizzles announced yesterday that they will not be renewing their partnership. As MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart writes, that should pave the way for the ’Stros to land in Round Rock (where they previously had their Triple-A club for a decade). Astros president of business operations Reid Ryan said a return to Round Rock is “at the top of our list,” McTaggart notes, adding that the Ryan family owns the Round Rock Express.

That move, of course, would leave the Rangers searching for a new affiliate, though Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News wrote over the weekend that the Rangers could well end up in San Antonio, where a Triple-A franchise will be added as Colorado Springs loses its Triple-A designation (a move that’ll leave the Brewers, currently in Colorado Springs, looking for a new home as well). As Fraley explores, the facilities to which the Rangers could relocate in San Antonio are currently lacking, which could potentially prove detrimental in pursuing minor league free agents. However, sticking in Texas would come with greater marketing opportunities and a preexisting fan base from which to draw.

The Brewers, Nationals and Athletics are the three other clubs that are yet undecided on next year’s affiliations. The Nats will be seeking a new partner following the post-2017 announcement that the Mets had purchased the Syracuse Chiefs (securing a much-needed geographic upgrade over their current home in Las Vegas). The Athletics, in similar fashion, would reap significant geographic benefits by moving from their current home in Nashville to either Fresno or Las Vegas.

Betsy Helfand of the Las Vegas Journal-Review notes that the Nationals have expressed interest in moving to Nashville, while Bryant-Jon Anteola of the Fresno Bee suggests that the A’s would likely have their pick between Fresno and Las Vegas, as both would prefer to partner with the Athletics for geographic reasons, giving Oakland the advantage. That’ll present the A’s with the decision of whether to play in California or move to a newly constructed facility Vegas and seems likely to leave the Brewers with an even larger gap between their big league club and their top minor league affiliate, though they’ll be moving into improved facilities either way.

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Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Crasnick On Improbable Success Of A's Pitchers]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=132905 2018-09-16T03:32:29Z 2018-09-16T03:32:29Z
  • Myriad injuries in their rotation could have stopped the Athletics from contending this season. Instead, thanks in part to scrapheap pickups Edwin Jackson, Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill, the A’s own one of the majors’ best records (90-59) and are now playoff shoo-ins. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com delves into how Oakland has succeeded, noting that its Matt Chapman-led defense leads the league in DRS (59) and has taken pressure off its pitchers. The staff – which has gone through 14 starters – has also gotten help from veteran catchers Jonathan Lucroy and Josh Phegley, pitching coach Scott Emerson and a stellar bullpen, as Crasnick explains in a piece that’s worth checking out.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[AL West Notes: Felix, Lowrie, Cahill, Skaggs, Calhoun, Listach]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=132768 2018-09-14T00:37:07Z 2018-09-14T00:25:24Z Mariners fans in particular will want to read up on the club’s faded ace, Felix Hernandez, in this piece from Scott Miller of Bleacher Report. The veteran hurler has taken his downfall hard, but he’s still working to rediscover the magic that once made him one of the game’s very best pitchers. Of course, his lost fastball velocity means the odds are long; it’s still in full retreat despite the fact that Hernandez says his “body feels good” after dealing with injuries over the past two seasons. It’s a well-conceived and well-paced story — at once deep and, refreshingly, not unnecessarily lengthy — with some notable observations from current and former M’s personnel and others close to Hernandez.

    More from the AL West:

    • Athletics second baseman Jed Lowrie acknowledged today in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (Twitter link) that he has had some contact with the club about staying on past the present season. The team’s interest in maintaining the relationship has been known for some time, but it’s interesting nevertheless to hear Lowrie address the matter. To this point, Lowrie says, talks haven’t moved past an initial expression of interest. But he says he likes it in Oakland and believes he fits the club well, so it certainly sounds as if the good vibes flow in both directions. No doubt that’s due in some part to the immense success both player and team have found this year. It’s a second-straight eyebrow-raising season at the plate for Lowrie, who owns a healthy .276/.360/.455 slash since the start of the 2017 campaign. He has set himself up for an interesting trip onto the open market — if nothing comes together first with the A’s.
    • In yet more unwelcome health news for the Athletics, righty Trevor Cahill has gone down with a rhomboid muscle strain, as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The upper-back ailment comes at an uncomfortable proximity to the postseason, though it seems as if the expectation is he won’t miss more than a single start. To be sure that things aren’t more serious, Cahill is headed in for an MRI.
    • Angels southpaw Tyler Skaggs was able to work up to a 48-pitch sim game today, skipper Mike Scioscia tells reporters including Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register (via Twitter). It’s still not clear whether he’ll return to the majors this year, though that figures to be a topic of discussion in the coming days. The 27-year-old, who is rehabbing from an adductor strain, is looking to extend his personal-best 116 2/3-inning, 3.78 ERA showing on the season. Whether or not he’s able to do so, Skaggs has impressed and now seems to be one of the club’s best bets to provide quality frames in 2019 — if he can stay healthy. Skaggs will likely command a nice raise in his second-to-last trip through the arbitration process after earning $1,875,000 this year.
    • It’s still not clear when Rangers prospect Willie Calhoun will get his first real crack at the big leagues. As T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com writes, Calhoun had seemed likely to see much more action in the 2018 season. Instead, after a relatively tepid season at the plate at the Triple-A level, Calhoun is seeing scattered time late this season. It seems the organization still wants to see more from the key piece of last year’s Yu Darvish swap before clearing the way. Beyond his known deficiencies in the field and on the bases, manager Jeff Banister seemingly hinted that there are some strength and conditioning steps that the youngster could take to improve.
    • In other Mariners news, the club will part ways with Triple-A skipper and longtime big leaguer player Pat Listach, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times recently tweeted. That’ll put an end to a four-year run at Tacoma for the former infielder, who has at times been mentioned as a future MLB managerial candidate.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Athletics’ Jesus Luzardo Hires Scott Boras]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=132592 2018-09-10T19:33:09Z 2018-09-10T15:53:44Z Athletics prospect Jesus Luzardo recently changed representation and is now a client of the Boras Corporation, as ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick first reported via Twitter.

    Luzardo, 20, has had a meteoric rise in 2018 and is among the game’s more highly regarded prospects, having ascended from Class-A Advanced all the way up to Triple-A this season. Along the way, he’s pitched to a combined 2.88 ERA with 10.6 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9 and allowed just seven homers in 109 1/3 innings of work.

    Luzardo was considered a high-risk prospect, and perhaps still is, when the A’s acquired him alongside Blake Treinen in the July 2017 trade that sent Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson from Oakland to Washington. He’d undergone Tommy John surgery prior to being drafted in the third round by the Nats in 2016 and, at the time of the trade, had pitched just 13 2/3 professional innings. That trade could scarcely have worked out better for the A’s at this point, as Treinen has stepped up as an elite reliever in his own right, while Luzardo could be knocking on the door of a big league promotion next season as a 21-year-old.

    The A’s don’t currently have many Boras clients on the roster, though Luzardo joins two of the team’s best players, Matt Chapman and Sean Manaea, in that regard. The change in representation has been reflected in MLBTR’s Agency Database, which contains representation info on upwards of 3,000 Major League and Minor League players. If you see any notable errors or omissions, please let us know via email: mlbtrdatabase@gmail.com.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Brett Anderson Nearing Return]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=132528 2018-09-09T03:35:40Z 2018-09-09T03:35:40Z
  • Athletics southpaw Brett Anderson is nearing a return from a forearm strain, per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Anderson, who has been out since Aug. 28, may rejoin the A’s rotation as early as Wednesday or Thursday, Slusser reports, as the 30-year-old offered an encouraging assessment after a bullpen session Saturday. His absence, not to mention those of other injured A’s starters (including Sean Manaea), has helped steer the playoff contenders toward incorporating more bullpen games. But once Anderson returns, Oakland may cut down on those, Slusser writes.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Athletics Outright Bruce Maxwell]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=132376 2018-09-06T21:33:41Z 2018-09-06T21:06:47Z
  • Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Nashville, the team announced via press release. Maxwell, 27, has been a lightning rod for criticism following his decision last season to take a knee during the National Anthem and his offseason arrest for aggravated assault. Though Athletics brass gave Maxwell a public vote of confidence as his court proceedings were ongoing, the Oakland organization ultimately bumped Maxwell down the depth chart by signing Jonathan Lucroy. On the field, Maxwell has struggled through a terrible season, hitting .182/.207/.309 in a small sample of 58 Major League plate appearances and just .219/.300/.281 through 200 PAs at the Triple-A level.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 9/5/18]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=132315 2018-09-06T02:04:22Z 2018-09-06T02:03:41Z We’ll track Wednesday’s moves from around the league here…

    • After recently being designated for assignment, lefty Danny Coulombe was outrighted today by the Athletics. The 28-year-old has generated 9.9 K/9 on the year, while generating a strong 13.5% swinging-strike rate, but has also allowed 4.2 walks and 1.9 home runs per nine innings. He has surrendered a dozen earned runs in his 23 2/3 frames, but the more concerning number is the batting line posted this year by opposing southpaw hitters: .317/.364/.512.

    Earlier Moves

    • The Mariners announced that right-hander Rob Whalen has been outrighted off the 40-man roster following his DFA on Saturday. The 24-year-old tossed four shutout innings for the Mariners this season but carries an ugly 5.16 ERA with 8.3 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and 0.45 HR/9 in 99 1/3 innings with Seattle’s Triple-A affiliate in Tacoma. The former Mets/Braves farmhand has a career 5.75 ERA in 36 big league innings.
    • The Phillies announced that infielder Jesmuel Valentin has cleared waivers after being designated for assignment and been sent outright to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The 24-year-old switch-hitter managed just a .177/.258/.304 slash through 89 plate appearances in the Majors this season and turned in a fairly underwhelming .240/.346/.341 slash in Triple-A prior to being removed from the 40-man roster. Valentin’s bat has wilted as he’s climbed the minor league ranks and faced more advanced competition, and he’s not considered a strong enough defender up the middle to be a glove-first utility option.
    • Right-hander Evan Marshall has accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Columbus by the Indians, the team announced. Marshall threw well in 24 Triple-A innings this season (1.13 ERA, 21-to-3 K/BB ratio, 66.2 percent grounder rate) and picked up nine punchouts with a 56.5 percent ground-ball rate in the big league ’pen. He missed time earlier in the year with a right elbow issue, though, and has been hampered by numerous other issues in the past — most notably a terrifying, near-fatal skull fracture suffered in 2015 when he was struck in the head by a line-drive comebacker while pitching for the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate. If he doesn’t return to the Majors this season, the 28-year-old should find plenty of interest as a minor league free agent over the winter, given his strong showing in Triple-A and a lengthy track record of inducing grounders (55.9 percent in 92 2/3 MLB innings) and missing bats (career 12.5 percent swinging-strike rate).
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Athletics Acquire Aaron Brooks, Designate Danny Coulombe]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=132218 2018-09-03T19:33:02Z 2018-09-03T19:16:50Z The Athletics have acquired right-hander Aaron Brooks from the Brewers for cash considerations, Robert Murray of The Athletic tweets. In a corresponding move, the A’s designated left-hander Danny Coulombe, per a team announcement.

    This deal continues a busy few days for Brooks, whom the Brewers selected from the minors Aug. 30 and then designated the next day. The 28-year-old didn’t throw a pitch for the Brewers, and he hasn’t taken a major league mound since 2015 – part of which he spent with the Athletics. Brooks tossed 51 innings of 6.71 ERA ball with Oakland that year after it acquired him (and Sean Manaea) from the Royals in a trade for Ben Zobrist.

    More recently, Brooks did solid work with the Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate in 2018. Despite having to pitch in hitter-friendly Colorado Springs, Brooks managed a 3.35 ERA/4.14 FIP with 6.7 K/9, 2.54 BB/9 and a 55.1 percent groundball rate over 99 1/3 innings (26 appearances, 15 starts).

    Coulombe, who has been with the Athletics since they acquired him from the Dodgers in 2015, has been fairly effective in the majors. Over 143 1/3 career innings, including 139 with the A’s, Coulombe has held same-handed hitters to a .234/.304/.327 batting line and pitched to a 4.27 ERA/4.09 FIP, also notching 8.41 K/9, 3.83 BB/9 and an excellent 56.8 percent groundball rate. But major league lefties have teed off on Coulombe this season, as the the 28-year-old has yielded a .317/.364/.512 line in 23 2/3 frames. Coulombe has also registered a subpar 4.56 ERA/5.10 FIP and a 4.18 BB/9, though he has averaged nearly 10 strikeouts per nine and recorded a 51.7 percent grounder rate.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Will The A's Extend Bob Melvin?]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=132142 2018-09-03T04:11:54Z 2018-09-03T04:11:54Z
  • With the Athletics rolling, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle wonders why the team hasn’t extended manager Bob Melvin, who is only under contract through the 2019 season.  Failing to keep Melvin (or, for that matter, baseball operations head Billy Beane and GM David Forst) from “lame-duck status” in the final year of their deals threatens to undermine the progress that the A’s have made this season, Shea opines.  Back in June, the Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reported that there some belief that the team’s upper management wouldn’t retain Beane, Forst, and/or Melvin beyond the end of their current contracts.  If this was ownership’s plan, however, one wonders if things have changed in the wake of the Athletics’ hot streak and return to contention.
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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[September Call-Ups: 9/1/18]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=131982 2018-09-01T22:38:55Z 2018-09-01T21:24:34Z A few call-ups were announced yesterday, but we’re likely to see far more prospect promotions and even contract selections take place today as rosters expand. We’ll use this post to keep track of those moves…

    • The Marlins selected the contract of righty starter Jeff Brigham today; he’ll be among those playing in the majors for the first time ever. Brigham’s solid 3.44 ERA in Triple-A this season is muddied a bit by his 4.45 FIP, but he’s maintained solid ratios. Brigham’s 8.25 K/9 and brilliant 2.24 BB/9 give him a solid 3.69 K/BB ratio that probably looks quite nice to a Marlins club that’s hurting for serviceable major league starters. Miami has also recalled right-handers Sandy Alcantara and Nick Wittgren along with catcher Chad Wallach.
    • The Athletics selected several contracts today, including that of catching prospect Beau Taylor. The lefty-hitting backstop has never played in the majors, but he’s done well for himself at the Triple-A level this season by drawing walks in 14% of his plate appearances while hitting .248. He’s even chipped in a pair of stolen bases. The biggest knock on Taylor is his lack of power; the 28-year-old owns a sub-.100 ISO and has never hit more than eight homers in a given season. Other contracts selected by the Astros today include those of lefty Dean Kiekhefer and righties Chris Hatcher and Liam Hendriks. The A’s recalled lefty Daniel Coulombe and shortstop Franklin Barreto as well.  
    • The Indians selected the contract of right-hander Jon Edwards today, who hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since 2015. The 30-year-old Edwards has done well for himself in the Tribe’s minor league system in 2018, though, racking up 56 strikeouts in just 39 1/3 innings while pitching to a 3.64 ERA. Though he’s exhibited extreme control issues in the past, his 2.70 BB/9 in 30 innings with Triple-A Columbus suggests there’s a possibility he’s put those problems behind him. The Tribe promoted catcher Eric Haase to the majors alongside him.

    Earlier…

    • The Mariners have selected the contract of Justin Grimm among their September moves, whom they signed to a minor league contract on July 25th. Grimm’s been plagued by shoulder and back issues all season and struggled to a cataclysmic 13.50 ERA in 12 2/3 innings for the Royals earlier this season, which led to his release early on in the summer. With the Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate, though, he’s put up a pristine 1.64 ERA and an even more impressive 13.91 K/9 mark. In addition to Grimm, Seattle also selected the contract of Kristopher Negron, and recalled right-handers Chasen Bradford and Ryan Cook, lefty James Pazos, catcher David Freitas.
    • The Nationals have selected the contract of right-hander Austen Williams, who’ll be getting his first MLB cup of coffee this September. He’s been quite impressive in the upper minors this season, including a 0.55 ERA in 16 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level. That’s backed up by excellent peripherals, including 20 strikeouts against just four walks. Williams had pitched exclusively as a starter until this season, and it appears a transition to a relief role has catapulted him to a status as an incredibly intriguing talent. The Nats also recalled catcher Pedro Severino to fill in while Wieters is dealing with a hip/groin injury (per Jamal Collier of MLB.com).
    • The White Sox promoted Caleb Frare to get his first taste of the bigs; as James Fegan of The Athletic points out, he needed to be added to the 40-man roster in order to be protected from the coming winter’s Rule 5 Draft. They’ve good reason to do so, as the lefty reliever has thrived with the organization ever since being acquired from the Yankees a month ago in exchange for $1.5MM in international bonus pool funds. He’s put up fantastic numbers in 12 2/3 innings at Triple-A Charlotte, including a 0.71 ERA and 13.50 K/9. Aaron Bummer will join him as the other White Sox player to receive a September promotion so far.
    • The Royals have selected the contract of catcher Meibrys Viloria to account for the hole left by Drew Butera, who was traded to the Rockies yesterday. Fascinatingly, Kansas City decided to promote the 21-year-old Columbia native even though he’s never played above the High-A level. He’s done just fine there, though, batting .260/.342/.360 in 407 plate appearances over the course of 2018. Viriola is expected to maje his MLB debut as early as this week while mainstay catcher Salvador Perez deals with a sprained thumb.
    • After a short stay in the minors, righty reliever Ray Black is back up with the Giants. He’s had a poor showing in the majors so far, allowing ten earned runs in 15 1/3 innings. He did manage to strike out 22 batters in that span, though, and owns a 2.11 FIP in 25 2/3 innings at Triple-A this season. His blistering 16.13 K/9 at that level perhaps speaks to his potential even more.
    • The Cardinals recalled catcher Carson Kelly today, who’s widely considered to be the club’s catcher of the future once Yadier Molina’s contract is complete. However, he’s yet to prove his worth at the major-league level, as evidenced by his .150/.216/.187 batting line across 118 MLB plate appearances. The Redbirds have also called up lefty Tyler Webb and righty Daniel Poncedeleon.
    • The Phillies have opted to recall outfielder Aaron Altherr, who’d largely been a fixture in the club’s major-league outfield for the past two seasons prior to a late-July demotion. While his 13.3% walk rate so far this season was downright fantastic, that was about the only aspect of Altherr’s performance to be happy about; he was striking out at a 32.7% clip while hitting just .171 and slugging just .305. Philadelphia also added outfielder Dylan Cozens and righty reliever Yacksel Rios to their active roster.
    • The Yankees are set to give right-hander Stephen Tarpley his first taste of major-league action after selecting his contract earlier today. Tarpley is quite an interesting arm-he’s been utilized as a multi-inning reliever at two levels of the minors this year, and to great effect. Most recently, he’s pitched to a 2.65 ERA and 10.06 K/9 across 17 appearances spanning 34 innings at Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre. Infielder Tyler Wade and right-hander Luis Cessa will also join the MLB club as rosters expand.
    • The Mets will give righty Eric Hanhold his first taste of major-league action, MLBTR has learned. Acquired in the 2017 trade that sent Neil Walker to the Brewers, Hanhold has apparently been quite unlucky to own his 7.11 ERA at Triple-A this season. Rather, his 3.43 FIP in 19 innings at that level produces some level of optimism that he can serve as a quality reliever in the majors. A .429 BABIP and 2.86 K/BB ratio further strengthen that case.
    • The Reds are set to give shortstop prospect Blake Trahan a September call-up, as C. Trent Rosencrans of The Athletic was among those to tweet. Trahan came to the Reds by way of the club’s third-round draft pick back in 2015. He did not rank amongst MLB Pipeline’s top 30 Reds prospects in the publication’s most recent rankings, though Fangraphs ranks him 24th in that regard thanks to a 55 speed tool and a 60-grade arm. He’s also likely to be a league-average shortstop. That’s about all there is to like about Trahan at present, as he’s only hit .245/.327/.302 at the minors’ highest level.
    • The Reds have also recalled Lucas Sims, who arrived in Cincinnati just prior to the non-waiver trade deadline as part of the package in exchange for sending Adam Duvall to Atlanta. Sims owns a 5.96 ERA and 7.15 K/9 in a Braves uniform, but his minors track record indicates he might have better days yet to come; the righty has managed to strike out at least ten batters per nine innings at every level of the minors post-Rookie ball, and has a sub-4.00 MiLB ERA in each of the past two seasons.
    • The Twins will promote right-hander Zach Littell, according to Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Littell has but 3 1/3 innings of MLB experience, during which time he allowed seven earned runs with one strikeout en route to a demotion. His 3.57 ERA at Triple-A this season is far more palatable, albeit unspectacular.
    • The Twins also announced that they’ve selected the contract of left-hander Andrew Vasquez, who’ll be receiving his first cup of coffee after pitching to a sub-1.50 ERA out of minor-league bullpens across the past three seasons combined. They’ve also selected catcher Chris Gimenez in addition to recalling outfielder Johnny Field and right-hander Tyler Duffey.
    • The Red Sox have officially recalled five players, including first base/outfield type Sam Travis. After serving as a somewhat serviceable piece in 2017 (.263/.325/.342 batting line), Travis has struggled in limited major-league action this year to the tune of a 45 wRC+ and -0.1 fWAR. Boston has also promoted left-handers Bobby Poyner and Robby Scott, as well as right-hander William Cuevas and infielder Tzu-Wei Lin.
    • The Tigers have recalled right-hander Sandy Baez from Double-A Erie, per a club announcement. Baez made his major-league debut back on June 4th, entering the game in relief during a double-header. He didn’t allow any runs in 4 1/3 innings, though he did walk three batters in that appearance. Aside from that, Baez has never pitched above Double-A, and owns a troublesome 5.64 ERA there on the 2018 season, in part due to command issues.
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